Connecticut Town Plans A Good Old-Fashioned Video Game Burning. We React With GIFs.

Later this month, a town in Connecticut about 30 miles from Newtown will be offering gift certificates in exchange for “violent” (however that’s determined) games, music, and movies. It’s called The Violent Video Games Return Program. In the interests of being as forehead-slappingly ironic as possible, they plan to throw these evil games, albums, and movies in a pile and burn them. Ugh.

And before anybody asks, the gift certificate amount is $25, and it’s limited to one per person. There goes our plan to load up the UPROXX windowless van with boxes of rummage sale VHS tapes, drive to Connecticut, and cash in.

The Jan. 12 event is being organized by the SouthingtonSOS, a collective of representatives of Southington, CT community organizations that includes the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, board of education, fire department, town officials, United Way and local clergy. The group was formed in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as a way for the community to quickly organize help in the wake of national and local tragedies. [Polygon]

If only there were some sort of tragedy or emergency on the East Coast that they could be focusing their efforts on. Oh well, I guess nothing at all has happened lately. Let’s fire up the bonfire and toss some old copies of DOOM on there. That won’t be creepy and misguided at all.

Following the [Newtown] shooting, Southington School superintendent Joe Erardi said that he was flooded with emails from concerned parents asking what could be done to help both the nearby Newtown community and their own. “What happened in our community, very similar to communities across the world, is everyone wanted to do something for Newtown,” he said. The SOS “convened and we looked at how do we continue to pray and support Newtown and how do we do something perhaps meaningful for Newtown and our own community.” [Polygon]


At the heart of the Violent Video Games Return Program, inspired by a similar program kicked off by a 12-year-old in Newtown, is the need for parents to have a “real, sound conversation with their children about video games,” Erardi tells Polygon.

And nothing opens the lines of communication between parent and child as effectively as taking something they like and setting it on fire…

“The group’s action is not intended to be construed as statement declaring that violent video games were the cause of the shocking violence in Newtown on December 14th,” according to a statement from the organization. “Rather, SouthingtonSOS is saying is that there is ample evidence that violent video games, along with violent media of all kinds, including TV and Movies portraying story after story showing a continuous stream of violence and killing, has contributed to increasing aggressiveness, fear, anxiety and is desensitizing our children to acts of violence including bullying.” [Polygon]

Ample evidence? You mean those extremely problematic studies plagued by personal agendas?

I’m sure someone more eloquent than myself can come along and verbalize exactly how misguided this is. But I’m not that guy, so instead I’ll take my opinion about community groups mobilizing their tremendous power to help and instead channeling it into this and express that opinion in the form of GIFs.